Targeting Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, Union minister Smriti Irani said Tuesday that the Congress president has now become "a missing candidate as well" after remaining a "missing MP".
Ms Irani, who is contesting against sitting MP Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, said the Congress party's condition "is so bad" that it has to call party workers from other states for campaigning in the Gandhi family bastion.
"Had Rahul worked for Amethi, the condition of Congress would not have been so miserable. Its party workers would not have deserted it," she claimed.
"Till now Rahul Gandhi had been a missing MP, but now he has become a missing candidate as well," Irani said.
On Saturday, Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Amethi.
On Sunday, his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaigned in the constituency, and hit out at the BJP.
This is the second time Ms Irani is taking on Rahul Gandhi in the Congress bastion, after an unsuccessful bid in 2014. She has continuously raised the issue of Congress allegedly overlooking the constituents in Amethi.
For this election, the BJP has sent its top leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, to campaign in Amethi, which has remained with the Congress except in 1977 and 1998.
Also, Rahul Gandhi is contesting from a second seat in Kerala in this election. The Congress has pitched the choice of Wayanad as an attempt by it to bridge the "north-south divide".
As Mr Gandhi crisscrosses the country for campaigning, Priyanka Gandhi has held the ground in Amethi, raising mostly local issues faced by the people. She has also targeted the top BJP leadership on the issue of nationalism, which the ruling party has made a strong campaign plank.
On Tuesday, at an election rally in Amethi, Ms Irani also said, "The condition of Congress in Amethi is so bad that even the Congress workers are leaving the party. The party has to call its workers from states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir."
Amethi goes to polls on May 6.
The SP-BSP-RLD alliance has not fielded any candidate from Amethi.
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